Passing the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) may be the most difficult undertaking of your academic and professional career. Pieper Bar Review is here to help you succeed. In this post, we’ll review some of the most common missteps students make when prepping for and taking the exam, as well as top tips to ensure your victory—the first of many triumphs in your career as a lawyer.
3 Common Mistakes
There are innumerable mistakes a student can make that could ultimately result in failing the bar exam. Not studying enough, not studying correctly, and not doing enough practice tests are some of the more avoidable. Yet what does that mean, exactly? Sit tight—we’ll tell you.
Here are three mistakes that commonly stump bar exam hopefuls (and how to avoid them):
Cramming, All-Nighters & Other Useless Study Methods
Manic caffeine-fueled study marathons were all the rage in college, but they won’t help you pass an exam as sophisticated and thorough as the UBE. You can’t outsmart this one, so put your best foot forward, trust the process, and start studying at least 10 weeks before your scheduled exam. This way, you can take much-needed breaks throughout the day, and subsequently, retain the information you’re trying so hard to make stick. There’s no worse feeling than walking into an exam, running on fumes and Starbucks, and suddenly realizing every effort made after 2 a.m. was a waste of time because you were passively glazing over pages instead of sleeping.
Some other common but ultimately ineffective study habits include highlighting and underlining and rereading, according to a game-changing research report published by Kent State University Professor John Dunlosky and his team. Findings suggest that activities such as highlighting and underlining encourage students to search for valuable bits of information, rather than engaging in an analytical manner. Rereading is a staple in most students’ study toolbox, but research shows utilizing this methodology alone does not necessarily lead to an adequate understanding of a topic, just superficial—and temporary—memorization.
The most important stage of bar exam prep is all of them. It’s very important to familiarize yourself with the test and testing conditions, but jumping straight into practice testing before you’ve achieved a mastery-level understanding of substantive concepts in law will only work to induce panic. Again, trust the process. Create a fail-proof study schedule, and follow it. If done correctly, you’ll have nailed down a satisfactory working knowledge of all necessary concepts and scenarios, and memorized your outlines to such a degree by the time you even think about starting to practice test, and then you can do so, confidently. Practice testing is meant to get comfortable with the format and conditions of the exam, and to identify and correct any weak spots that may have slipped through the cracks—not to learn the tested material.
One of the biggest mistakes a student can make is to not sign up for a review course. If you are considering taking your chances of going it alone, reconsider with this in mind: Bar exam prep is a long and grueling process that you do not want to do more than once. It takes a village to raise a lawyer, and while self-sufficiency is a noble pursuit, bar exam prep is no time to go all Walden. The cabin in the woods will still be there after you’ve been crowned a lawyer. That said, law school isn’t cheap, and bar review courses are another added expense. If cost is holding you back, you can find bar loan options made available explicitly for this purpose here. Pieper Bar Review also has several discounts available for students who qualify.
With the Pieper family's more than 40 years of expertise, the most lecture hours of any bar review course, and more than 1,500 pages of outlines, Pieper’s Full Bar Review Course delivers all the substantive law you’ll need to pass the UBE, along with the strategies for mastering multiple-choice questions and maximizing your scores on the MEE and MPT. Register Today to begin your journey toward bar exam success!